Winfield rises to No. 5 in 3A

Winfield continued its climb in the Class 3A rankings as the Pirates jumped to No. 5 this week.
The Pirates rose one spot after earning a victory over  Class 3A, Region 4 rival Lamar County 46-21. The Pirates trailed the Bulldogs 21-20 at halftime before dominating the second half 26-0 as head coach David McKinney’s squad improved to 5-0 this year.

PD gets new Tahoe after older model totalled

A Hamilton Police Department Chevrolet Tahoe was wrecked on Aug. 23 during a response call. According to Hamilton Mayor Bob Page, the officer lost control of the vehicle while rounding a curve on County Road 11

HAMILTON - The Hamilton Police Department will purchase a new 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe police cruiser.
The council unanimously voted at its meeting held on Monday, Sept. 17, to purchase the new cruiser at a cost of $32,016 from Donohoo Chevrolet in Fort Payne.
The new vehicle will replace one of the police department’s cruisers which was totalled  during a response call on Aug. 23.


Summer conferences gather 2,374

The more than 2,300 attendees of the three Summer Ramp conferences in Hamilton contributed around $427,000 into the local economy, as they purchased food, lodging and travel necessities during their stay. The conference-goers are pictured worshipping and praying during services at The Ramp. (Courtesy of Ramp Media)

HAMILTON – The Ramp finished its last of three summer conferences on Saturday, Aug. 18, bringing 2,374 visitors to the area and giving the local economy an estimated $427,320 boost.
The Summer Ramp conferences were held on June 28 - 30, July 26 - 28 and Aug. 17 -18. Once again, local businesses—including hotels and motels from Hamilton, Guin and Winfield and restaurants—noticed the influx of visitors and the large increase of revenue.


More than 142 ATV injuries over two years

HAMILTON - The risks and danger associated with all-terrain vehicles (ATV) recently shocked Northwest Alabama with the tragic death of two children.
According to Alabama State Troopers, a boy, 8, and a girl, 4, were killed when the ATV they were riding overturned on Saturday, Aug. 25. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash occurred less than a mile from Marion County on Mill Creek Road, located off Alabama Highway 19.

Veterans Clinic holds ribbon cutting

 Tuscaloosa Veterans Administration (VA) Public Affairs Officer Damon Stevenson takes a picture during the the ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the new VA store-front clinic in Hamilton on Wednesday, Sept., 26. The clinic opening is part of the VA’s efforts to provide services to veterans located in rural communities, said John Merkle, director of the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

Sims: ‘Eagle stands for something different’

Hamilton Troop 56 Scout Will Sims was awarded Scouting’s highest honor on Aug. 26 during his Eagle Scout Court of Honor which was held at the Whitehouse Church of Christ in the Whitehouse Community. Shown with Sims at his ceremony is his father, Troop 56 Scoutmaster John Sims, and his mother, Susie.

HAMILTON - A Hamilton High School senior has been awarded Scouting’s highest honor.
Will Sims, 18, Haleyville, Whitehouse Community, a senior at Hamilton High School, was awarded the Eagle Scout Rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor held on Sunday, Aug. 26,  at the Whitehouse Church of Christ.
Sims, son of John and Susie Sims, was recently awarded the Medal of Merit by the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for his lifesaving actions in March 2017, when he discovered his brother, David, having a severe asthma attack.


Armbrester third in family to reach Eagle

Seth Armbrester (center), 18, Hamilton, is shown at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Aug. 12 at Hamilton United Methodist Church with his two brothers Aaron (left) and Adam, who are also Eagle Scouts.

HAMILTON - Seth Armbrester, 18, Hamilton, has been awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.
In earning the rank, Armbrester has completed an Eagle-Scout trifecta,  joining his two older brothers, Adam and Aaron, who have both obtained Scouting’s highest honor as well.
Armbrester, son of Hamilton United Methodist Church Pastor Jeff Armbrester and Lisa Armbrester, was presented his Eagle Scout pin, badge and medal at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor, which was held on Aug. 12 at the Methodist Church.

De-annexation debate continues

The Wilds family attended the Wednesday, Aug. 22, Brilliant Town Council meeting in order to request that the council de-annex their three properties from the town limits, due to not having access to the town’s water. In a crowded meeting room, the Wilds are pictured, along with council members, discussing the issue.

BRILLIANT - Brilliant resident Jason Wilds, along with his family, attended the Wednesday, Aug. 22, town council meeting to see if the council would de-annex their properties from the town limits.
The Wilds first brought up this request at the Wednesday, July 25, town council meeting, where Jason Wilds told the town council that, because Brilliant had not provided them access to town water, their properties should be de-annexed from the town limits.

The Ramp acquires neglected shopping center

A bird's-eye view of the old Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center, which was purchased by The Ramp on Tuesday, Sept. 18. (Courtesy of Ramp Media)

HAMILTON - Hamilton’s old Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center, which has been deemed an eyesore and on the verge of condemnation for a number of years, has been acquired.
According to The Ramp Chief Financial Officer Samuel Bentley, The Ramp acquired the seven-acre shopping center complex from developer Tony Struyk of San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Baker, Ennis address state of college in closed meetings

HAMILTON - Recordings of closed faculty meetings have shed light on a number of issues previously left publicly unaddressed  and unanswered by officials at Bevill State Community College (BSCC) and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).
According to statements made during these meetings, the allegation by House District 18 Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, that BSCC President Dr. Kim Ennis fabricated a study to justify closing three career technical programs at the BSCC Hamilton Campus is a misunderstanding.

Scott Johnson: Hamilton council shoots the messenger

The Hamilton City Council has decided that Retail Strategies should no longer represent the City of Hamilton.
The council voted 5-1 in against renewing its agreement with the Birmingham firm at its council meeting on Monday, Sept. 17.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page was the lone wolf to vote in favor of Strategies; councilors Tami Lewis Williams, Gene Sanderson, Bobby Joe Irvin, Kenneth Cochran and Herb Winsett all gave the firm a thumbs-down.

Pirates overcome slow start, defeat Bulldogs

Winfield quarterback Jackson Elkins (2) finds a seam to throw a pass to Pirate receiver Marshall McAteer (3) as lineman Luke McKinney (56) keeps a Lamar County defender at bay.

WINFIELD - The Winfield Pirates fell behind early 14-0 and fought back to go into halftime trailing only 21-20. The second half, however, was all about the Pirates, who scored 26 unanswered points to soundly defeat the Lamar County Bulldogs 46-21 on Thursday, Sep. 20, in Winfield.
The win improved the Pirates to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in Class 3A, Region 4 play.

Panthers blow out Flame

FLORENCE - Hackleburg blew out Class 1A, Region 8 opponent the Shoals Christian Flame 52-8 to pick up the Panthers’ first win of the year on Friday, Sept. 21.
The Panthers improved to 1-4 overall and move into a tie with longtime rival Phillips of Bear Creek for fourth-place at 1-2 in the Region 8 standings. The loss dropped the Flame to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Region 8 play.


Lady Raiders win NAC crown

GUIN - Marion County defeated Brilliant in three sets to win the Northwest Alabama Conference Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The Lady Tigers, who fought their way to the championship game after suffering a loss to Berry in the first match of the tournament, won the first set 25-22.
The Lady Raiders fought back to win the second and third set by scores of 25-19 and 15-10 to win the NAC crown.


NAC champions

The Marion County Lady Raiders won the Northwest Alabama Conference Volleyball Tournament after defeating Brilliant on Saturday, Sept. 8. Marion County earned wins over Berry and Lynn on Thursday, Sept. 6, to advance to the championship game.

Red Raiders lose heartbreaker to Tornadoes

Marion County’s Deuce Belk (6) follows blocks by Josh Rhudy (57), DJ Tidwell (76) and Brandon Espinoza (75) on a quarterback keeper.

REFORM - An unsuccessful extra-point attempt and a blocked field goal made all the difference in the world on Friday night, Sept. 21, as Marion County fell 7-6 to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 1A’s ninth-ranked Pickens County.
The loss marked the first setback for Marion County this season as the Red Raiders dropped to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in Class 1A, Region 6. The Tornadoes improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 6 play.


Aggies manhandled for second week in a row

Hamilton receiver Alex Reid (28) stiff-arms a Corner defender as he looks to gain extra yards.

CORNER - In a game almost identical to last week’s encounter with Dora, the Aggies gave a lackluster performance after trailing 20-0 at the end of the first half.
The Aggie faithful hoped to see their team get back into the game in the second half, but that resurgence never happened.
The homestanding Yellow Jackets continued their onslaught and rung up another 26 points en route to a 46-0 win.


Tigers mauled by Bears

Brilliant’s Kade Bryant (11) launches a pass around the outstretched arm of the Lynn defender

BRILLIANT - Brilliant suffered its first shutout of the season at the hands of Lynn in a 44-0 contest on Friday, Sept. 21.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in Class 1A, Region 6. The victory improved Lynn’s overall record to 2-2 and its region record to 1-2 while snapping a two-game losing streak.
Head coach Brian Gunnels saw areas where his Tigers needs to improve, including competing for the entire game.


Prognostications: County’s longest running rivalry takes center stage

Non-region action moves to the forefront in this week’s slate of games.
After three weeks of playing region contests, county schools finally venture out to play some non-region opponents in some fun matchups.
The county’s longest-running rivalry happens at Estes Hudson Stadium this Friday night when the Hamilton Aggies visit the unbeaten Winfield Pirates for nothing more than bragging rights.


Mandye Green: Character, perseverance and hope

No one really likes to be in pain. And we don’t really think of pain as our friend...more like our enemy.
Like this morning, when I felt a sting and looked down to see an ant biting my foot...I wasn’t a fan.
In my time at Dr. Brent Boyett’s clinic, Hamilton, where he assists patients with recovery from opiate addiction (pain pills) and chronic pain, I heard Boyett tell a story many (many) times and it never left me.

Faye Harris: Tobacco Kills!

Cigarette smoking is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer (Time Health, Spring 2018).
Cancer and other smoking-related diseases kill about 40,000 Americans every year, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S., with a worldwide yearly death count of 7 million.
In early August my husband, Glen, had his routine cardiology checkup with the conclusion by the nurse practitioner, “I’ll see you in about three months. Say, why don’t we have you go in for a pulmonary exam?”
So we went to have this done.

Time change causes heated argument

A 30-minute meeting time change sparked a heated argument, which quickly turned personal, among Winfield City Council members at the Monday, Sept. 17, council meeting

WINFIELD - Winfield City Council members Anthony Hallmark, Chris Ballard, Jimmy Hayes and Rusty Barnes clashed in a fierce argument over the council meeting time change that rescheduled future meetings to take place at 5:30 p.m. instead of 5:00.
At the previous meeting, the council voted to change the time for the Monday, Sept. 17, meeting to 5:30, along with future meetings, although some council members voiced that they were unaware they were agreeing to change the time of future meetings as well.

Steve Flowers: Supreme Court rules states can collect online sales tax

The State of Alabama’s fiscal year begins next week on Oct. 1. Our state’s finances are not the best in the world. However, they got a boost from the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year when the high tribunal ruled that states can collect sales tax on internet sales.
This was one of the most inequitable scenarios I have ever seen. If you went to the corner hardware store or Lowe’s or Walmart to buy a hammer and paint, you paid sales tax. However, if you bought these same items online, you did not. That is not fair to the store or the state.

Public hearings to be held for 3 street closings

The Hamilton City Council looks over building plans of Hamilton First Baptist Church to expand its facility. The church has requested that the city close a portion of 3rd Avenue South, which runs adjacent to their building. Four city councilors are members at the church and it remains unclear what action the council can ethically take.

HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council will host a public hearing during its Monday, Oct. 15, meeting to discuss the potential closure of three city streets.

Council votes 1-5 to quit Retail Strategies

HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council has decided not to renew its contract with its retail recruitment agency, Retail Strategies of Birmingham.
The council voted 1-5  against renewing its contract with the agency, choosing not to make its payment of $40,000 at its meeting held on Monday, Sept. 17, after only one year into a three-year partnership. The only one in favor of rejoining the Birmingham group was Hamilton Mayor Bob Page.

Roads to be repaired discussed

GUIN - To begin the Guin City council meeting on Monday, Sept. 17, mayor Max Maddox asked the council if they were interested in changing the city ordinance that prohibits a lounge from opening within 2,500 feet of a church. Councilmen Troy Hightower, Jerry Gann, and Phillip Garrison said that they were not interested in changing the ordinance. Councilmen Roger Agnew and Bobby Bellew were not present for the meeting.
Moving on to old business, Maddox presented a list of streets around Guin that he said he had viewed that needed repairs.

Cunningham to be honored on Sunday

Winfield’s Olan Cunningham poses for a photo during his playing days at Auburn University.

WINFIELD - In recognition of his decades of service to his community, Olan Cunningham will be honored by friends and community leaders in Winfield.
The retired State Farm insurance agent will be toasted at a public event scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 30, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Winfield Community Center. The recognition is open to the public with no admission charge.

Annual golf tournament set for Oct. 5

HAMILTON - For the 11th year running, Marion County golfers can take up their clubs and head to the Pikeville Country Club for a good cause: Ending domestic violence.
The Marion County Domestic Violence Task Force will be hosting its 11th annual golf tournament on Friday, Oct. 5, and all of the proceeds will go toward the emergency housing shelter that Safeplace, Inc., will open in the county in early 2019.